Suspect in deadly shooting outside Dave & Buster’s faces judge

CONCORD, N.C. (WSOC) — The man accused of killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring two other teens in a shooting at the Concord Mills Mall faced a judge for the first time Thursday.

Officials said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team arrested 18-year-old Dontae Milton-Black Wednesday morning.

Milton-Black has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of felony riot. Police said additional charges may follow.

The shooting happened just before 9 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Dave and Buster’s.

Police said 13-year-old Avenanna Propst was pronounced dead at the scene and two other male juvenile victims were taken to the hospital. Officials said the boys, who are under the age of 16, are expected to be OK.

Police said Avenanna and the two boys were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Channel 9 spoke with Avenanna’s mother who said she was on her way to Concord Mills to pick up her three daughters Saturday when the shooting happened.

She said the girls were at the mall buying shoes with money they got for Christmas when they called her to say they were ready to go home.

The mother said she was parking her car when she got a frantic call from her older daughter saying that Avenanna had been shot in the parking lot.

She said she ran to the area and found Avenanna on the ground.

On Tuesday, Concord Mills released a statement: “We continue to gather facts regarding the incident which we don’t believe started in the common area space of Concord Mills.

“With that said, safety at Concord Mills is our top priority.

“We are Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Safety Act certified – the country’s highest safety designation. We have a number of proactive security measures in place, both seen and unseen. We conduct multiple safety drills each year, one of which is always an active shooter drill. Every tenant is strongly encouraged to participate in these drills.

“Every tenant also receives and confirms receipt of a Tenant Emergency Guide and, as part of our Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), we ensure they each have an up-to-date emergency plan in place.

“We also maintain a close working relationship with the Concord Police Department and have a collaborating police sub-station on-site to help provide and maintain a safe environment at our property.”

Police released some 911 calls Monday night made after the shooting.

“We’ve had a shooting at Concord Mills Mall,” a caller told a 911 dispatcher. “We have kids that have been shot outside.”

The dispatcher asked how many people were shot.

“I have one I know of that has been shot in the arm, right now,” the caller said. “OK, right outside Dave and Buster’s.”

Avenanna attended A.C.E Academy Public Charter School in Harrisburg, North Carolina. School leaders said she was in 8th grade and was set to graduate this year. They said this incident is devastating for their school family.

Officials said they will have counseling resources and professionals in place to support students, staff and families as they grieve.

A.C.E ACADEMY STATEMENT:

This is devastating for our school family and it is important that we continue to support each other.

Avenanna,13, was an 8th grader at A.C.E {ACE} Academy Public Charter School.

Avenanna was scheduled to graduate from our school this year and this is devastating to all of us. She was a popular girl in the school and the news spread quickly among our school family. She’s a baby, she’s 13-years-old. This is hard to process, accept, or even understand. We support our families in and out of school and anytime one of our children suffer, we all suffer. We will support Avenanna’s family for as long as it takes to get through these painful, unimaginable times.

Our Student and Family Service Director was at the hospital Saturday night once we found out Avenanna was involved. It was chaotic because there were multiple shootings. We did what we could to gather information as quickly as possible. Very early on, our students were contacting their teachers with questions about the tragic incident because so much inappropriate and false information was shared on social media.

We have counseling resources and counseling professionals in place to support our 400 students, 50 staff members and all of their families. Our work began late Saturday night when the news started to circulate.

Channel 9 had a chance to speak with one of Avenanna’s best friends and classmates, Laila Massey, who said she had a message for the person responsible.

“I feel like she didn’t deserve what she had to go through and she was in the place at the wrong time,” Massey said. “I feel like the person who did it should turn themselves in.”

Massey said Avenanna loved to dance, play basketball and was always laughing.

“She always cared for people,” Massey said. “She always showed motivation and think positive.”

School leaders said they are also working on a memorial in honor of Avenanna on the school’s property. Family and friends will say their final goodbyes Saturday at Barber Scotia College in Concord.

Categories: National News, News